Elections of Opposites
[col. writ. 5/6/12) © '12 Mumis Abu-Jamal
Across much of the world, elections are being waged, most more in dread than in hope.
That's because we are in the habit of voting not for what we want; but against those we don't want.
We vote for the lesser of evils, and wonder why we end up with less and less.
We vote, if at all, negatively.
And the most powerful force that compels us, is fear.
The U.S. electorate has been addicted to fear; and political campaigns have mastered the techniques of manipulating such feelings.
Thus, political opponents aren't just adversaries--they are enemies. And it has ever been thus.
That great observer of America, Alexis de Tocqueville, in the classic work, Democracy in America (1835) had this to say about political parties:
....The parties by which the Union is menaced do not rest upon abstract principles, but upon temporal interests. These interests, disseminated in the provinces of so vast an empire, may be said to constitute racial nations rather than parties [p.204].
'Rival nations' engage in wars, not compromise.
And for power, to win it, as in war, anything goes.
Meanwhile, who really wins?
Not voters. Not citizens.
Vote, or not. It's largely irrelevant for no matter who wins, the real winners will be the big money donors; the corporate funders; and the Super-PACs (political action committees).
Voters are useful, but they are actually suckers in a game where the rules are rigged against them.
Elections are a lot like love affairs, which begin in a dazzle; yet end in dejection.
We vote for phantoms, yet are surprised when we awake in nightmares.
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